Customer service is nothing like it used to be. It used to be the case that all you needed to do was smile and answer questions, but customer service today requires a lot more effort and care. That’s because every day we’re finding out more about what customers want and social media plays a huge part in this.
Making Customer Service Authentic
Brands are not sentient, and it is highly unlikely that anyone today believes that they are talking directly to a business when they message them on social media. Today, the focus of customer service is less about the customer coming face to face with the business and more about the customer reaching out to an individual. It’s uncomfortable and awkward to read as well as write a message that consistently refers to the sender as ‘we’ – as though there were two heads attached to the person writing it. Social media is all about simple communication, which inevitably led to social media managers dropping the ‘we’ charade and just being plain with customers – a decision that has been and continues to be well received.
Similarly, the style of a conversation between clients and businesses has changed thanks to social media. We’ve learned that treating a customer well and speaking to them respectfully doesn’t necessarily imply that you need to be overly formal, especially when using social media. Calling someone sir or madam, extending to them your most sincere apologies for your delayed reply, and thanking them for their patronage sounds bizarre to everyone when you do it over Facebook chat. Social media is giving customer service a more authentic and informal edge that was long overdue. Chatting with someone plainly and speaking to them as though they were a friend demonstrates a sort of sincerity and genuineness that is often missing in customer service. Organizations can be so easily demonized when people think of them as a collective body rather than just people working together, which is what this new and authentic style of customer service is helping businesses combat.
Keeping The Customer Informed
Keeping your customers updated on the goings-on in your business is incredibly important and could help you avoid quite a few snafus. Consider businesses and services where customers need updates regularly, like public transport systems. If a train gets delayed or a station shuts down, you can bet that as soon as the news is confirmed the social media team are online and making sure that everyone knows about it. If they didn’t do this, commuters would find themselves standing in packed train stations for hours or having their usual route to work completely cut off without any warning and without knowing why it is happening.
On social media, you can give your customers all of the information they need to make the most of your services. When something goes wrong, or circumstances change, your customers are going to want to know right away what’s going on and rather than having your phone lines clogged up by customers asking for answers, you can publish the information on your social media. This way, your team won’t have to respond to hundreds of messages, and your customers won’t have to wait ages for a reply. As a result of this demand for instant information, many businesses are changing their customer service models to include more self-service. Websites now are used as a reliable source of information rather than just a place to shop, and if you want to find the answer to a question, nine out of ten times, you will find the answer online.
Not all businesses understand the nuances of modern customer service and where social media fits into modern techniques. If you’re worried that your customer service might be out of date, consider enrolling your team in customer service courses to give them up-to-date knowledge of customer service.